Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego


Thus the group appears to us as a revival of the primal horde. Just as primitive man survives potentially in every individual, so the primal horde may arise once more out of any random collection . . .

Sigmund Freud, 1921

Curator's Comments

Freud believed that whenever people come together en masse, the uncontrollable violence characteristic of early human groups is likely to re-emerge.


"Primal horde" refers to the earliest group of humans, characterized by violence and male sexual competition.

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